Ben MIchaelson’s Pan Am Diary: First Day in Santo Domingo

This is the fourth installment in Ben Michaelson's diary of his experiences in the Dominican Republic as a member of the US Pan American Games Team.

ATHLETES' VILLAGE, Dominican Republic, August 7. AFTER three days of relaxing and training in Tampa (more or less in that order!), we flew to Santo Domingo today.

After a light practice this morning, we returned to the USOC processing center in Tampa to head to the
airport for our 2-1/2 hour flight. Upon arrival in the Dominican Republic, we were processed and given our credentials right at the airport. Aside from
a few snags and difficulties with languages, we were in and out of the airport in a reasonable amount of time. From there, a bus took us the short distance to the Athletes' Village.

There is certainly a great deal of security, and the planners and workers definitely put their all into building this village. Sydney Olympians Tom
Hannan and Kyle Salyards both said that although smaller (proportional to the number of athletes), this Village is equally as nice, if not nicer than the Olympic Village in Sydney.

After getting settled in our rooms, we headed to the 24-hour dining hall for some dinner: Slightly different than what's offered at home, and NO DRINKING THE TAP WATER, but definitely a very good selection of foods.

Tomorrow, we'll see the pool for the first time at practice and continue making final preparations for the meet.

In other news, James Galloway wishes to report that he scored 142,210 points in Mrs. Pac-Man.

Take care, good luck to everyone (especially Sonoco!!) at Nationals and GO USA!!!

Talk to you all later…

Ben

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